Syria and Sri Lanka earned their places on the list of the world's most miserable nations, according to Hanke's Misery Index (HAMI) 2022.
The study found that Syria is the third most miserable country behind Zimbabwe and Venezuela, with unemployment as the main reason for its status.
Meanwhile, inflation has pushed another Asian country, Sri Lanka, to the 11th rank on the top 15 list.
Economist Steve Hanke’s rating used an equation that weighed unemployment, inflation, bank lending rates, and GDP growth to generate each country's HAMI score.
In a tweet, Hanke said, "Thanks to stunning inflation, high unemployment, high lending rates, and anemic real GDP growth, Zimbabwe clocks in as the world's most miserable country in the Hanke 2022 Annual Misery Index. Need I say more?"
He added that the only way to improve the ranking of Syria and Sri Lanka is for these countries to help their economies “grow.”
Hanke, a professor of Applied Economics at John Hopkins University, created the Annual Misery Index.
Since the Syrian civil war outbreak in March 2011, the country's economy has gone through many ups and downs. Still, things got worse after the collapse of Lebanon’s financial system in 2019 and the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Sri Lanka has also yet to recover from the economic crisis following political upheavals and its leaders' mismanagement of its economy, which led to fuel and food shortages.
With President Ranil Wickremasinghe taking the reins, implementing his decisive economic measures will hopefully ease the burden among Sri Lankans and help the country recover from its massive debt.
On the “happier” side, Kuwait, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand were considered the “happiest countries” in Asia.
Despite the country's political differences, Kuwait performed well in all fields and had a low unemployment rate.
Making it to the top of the “happiest” list is Switzerland, thanks to the implementation of the “Swiss debt brake,” according to Hanke.
The debt brake rule prevents chronic deficits and escalating debt through budget management.
Switzerland grabbed the happiest top spot from Finland, the World Happiness Report's happiest nation for six consecutive years.
According to the report, “Finlanders felt strongly free to make their own choices and showed minimal suspicion of government corruption. Both of these factors are strong contributors to overall happiness.”- Shirly Benedictos
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.